Collaboration could solve skills shortage

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A new report has said effective teamwork between house builders and subcontractors could be the key to solving the skills crisis…

The skills shortage in the construction sector could be solved by greater collaboration within the sector. This was the finding of a new report, which found collaboration between house builders and subcontractors could be the key to unlocking the crisis.

The report, ‘The case for collaboration in the supply chain’, was compiled by Skyblue Research Ltd. It is the first major piece of research to be undertaken for the new Home Building Skills Partnership (HBSP). This was set up by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to address the skills problems in the industry.

House building remains an area the government is determined to push, with a target of a million new homes by 2020. However, it is estimated some 50,000 homes across England have not yet started construction, despite planning permissions being in place. This is thought to be partly due to the growing skills shortage in the housing industry.

The report recommended that house builders could increase industry capacity by keeping subcontractors informed on future work, by paying them promptly, and by sharing training resources.

Chair of the HBSP John Tutte said: “The industry faces a huge challenge in the years ahead as it looks to attract and train the people required to build the homes the country needs.

“The relationship between homebuilders and subcontractors is absolutely critical in terms of how the industry recruits and delivers and it is imperative we work more closely together.

“The report provides some key insight into how we can collaborate more effectively to deliver improved training processes and ultimately increase capacity.

“We will now work closely with industry stakeholders to act on the recommendations as part of our wider drive to tackle the skills challenge we face.”

Steve Radley, director of Policy at CITB, said: “This research provides new insight into homebuilding supply chains and how they work, which is a critical first step to tackling the skills challenge in homebuilding.

“The new partnership and the evidence it has brought together offers the best opportunity in years to foster much closer working in the sector, which will improve skills, help companies become more productive and cost effective, and ultimately help us build the homes we need.”

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